Now in audiobook format, a gripping exploration of the fall of Constantinople and its connection to the world we live in today.
The fall of Constantinople in 1453 signaled a shift in history and the end of the Byzantium Empire. Roger Crowley's listenable and comprehensive account of the battle between Mehmed II, sultan of the Ottoman Empire, and Constantine XI, the 57th emperor of Byzantium, illuminates the period in history that was a precursor to the current jihad between the West and the Middle East.
©2016 Crowley (P)2016 Hachette Audio
l'enfer c'est les autres
What an inspiring story. The characters on both side of the conflict are amazing. I'd rank this story of the last battle for Constantinople with the Greeks at Thermopylae, or the Texans at the Alamo. The greatness that lies within us may seem dormant at times, but we are all capable of rising to the occasion and this story tells just one of those stories from the pantheon of history.
I love getting peaks into non-Western history. Their stories and their lessons on how to live the best life are worth learning about. I just wish there were more books that would tell them. (This book should be made into a movie).
When you lose faith in humanity and start to think we are not really worth the trouble anymore, I would suggest reading a story like this one. The bravery, the gallantry, the sacrifices that were made by the characters within this story are awe inspiring. The twelve Greek sailors who sneaked out under the cover of darkness to discover if there were any reinforcements on their way, and then they took a vote to return to the doomed city because that's what there honor demanded even though they knew it means with near certainty their own death. What a story! There are many stories like that one told and more just as thrilling and inspiring.
The author does well. He gives the listener the historical context in the first 50 pages, but the heart of the story are the day to day chronicles of the battle, and with as much detail as a WW II book would give for the battle of Stalingrad, say.
Unless you've read this book, you probably would have naively believed that the long cannon had made all of the difference in the battle. You would have been wrong. There are many moving pieces and as with almost all of history it is never just one thing because 'ceteris paribus' (with all other conditions being the same) is always false because the world is not static but always dynamic.
Every thing that's been in the "Game of Thrones" seems to be in this story. The Wall, the Guns, Honor and Hodor ('hold the door") are in this story, but all the stories in this book are true and even more unbelievable!
though this event in history interests me very much, I was wondering how an audiobook about 1453 would keep my attention. It did so fabulously by taking a new angle each chapter... one time discussing the Ottoman motivation, the next taking the Byzantine position. Each time, the author jumps back in history to give a better context.
By crisscrossing accross West and East, without the book losing its coherence, you'll get a taste for the whole of Byzantine and Ottoman history. The narrator tells the developments with a sense of gravity for the inevitable fate of Constantnople.
I purchased this book and enjoyed it (the written version and the read), and it lends itself as a well written historic novel. Two thumbs up!
Don't hesitate. You will love this book. It is well written and the reader does an awesome job. My favorite parts were the descriptions of the siege cannon and the up to 1,500 pound stone balls they could hurl at the Constantinople city walls. I also was surprised to learn that Istanbul, Turkey is actually the old City of Constantinople. You might also call this book "the last great siege" because that is essentially what it describes. The cannon pretty much put an end to siege warfare because no walls were too strong or too tall to bring down. Wars were fought differently after this great battle took place.
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